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Fox Cancels O.J. Book, TV Interview
Aired November 20, 2006 - 20:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, GUEST HOST: Major breaking news tonight. O.J. Simpson`s controversial interview and book, "If I Did It," is canceled! The outrage and backlash was building by the minute as affiliates went on a mutiny, some saying they would simply refuse to air the interview, that as an army of critics demanded boycotts against any sponsors. And tonight, Simpson`s attorney joins us to talk about the latest controversy involving O.J. and the gruesome murders of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and friend Ron Goldman. O.J. Simpson`s how-to on committing murder will not see the light of day. He is pulled off the air.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HARVEY LEVIN, TMZ.COM: He is a piece of crap.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: This is one of the most repulsive, disgusting, hideous spectacles I have ever seen.
HOWARD KURTZ, "WASHINGTON POST": This is the most appalling, shameless, exploitative thing I have heard of in the history of television, maybe the history of recorded civilization.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Repulsive, appalling, disgusting, all kinds of words, none of them good, to describe O.J.`s latest outrage, an upcoming book and Fox TV interview where the acquitted murder defendant talks about how he would have -- would have -- killed his ex-wife, Nicole Brown, and her friend, Ron Goldman.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Late today, Fox conceded what just about everyone else had already been saying, its TV show was a bad idea, in bad taste. And guess what? It`s been canceled.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Good evening. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, sitting in tonight for Nancy Grace. O.J. Simpson`s disturbing interview and book on how to commit murder pulled from the airwaves after a huge uproar. But just how low did O.J. go in that interview that now will not air? The nation is still struggling to grasp the concept of a man telling us how he would have killed his ex-wife and mother of his children if he had committed the brutal stabbing and slashing murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend, Ron Goldman, in 1994. Poll show most of the nation believes O.J. Simpson is the killer, even though he was found not guilty in a criminal trial. Later, he was found liable in a civil trial and owes the victims` families about $40 million -- yes, $40 million -- from that judgment.
For the very latest on this firestorm of controversy, let`s go straight out to my colleague and friend, investigative reporter Pat Lalama, for the very latest. Pat?
PAT LALAMA, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Hey, Jane. Nice to see you and talk to you.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You, too.
LALAMA: Well, this has just been an amazing ride, hasn`t it? And I sat through both of those darn O.J. trials, and I can`t believe I`m sitting here talking to you about it again. But here`s how it goes. Judith Regan, the controversial publisher, as you know, says that a third party comes to her and says, I`ve got this idea. She doesn`t name the third party, but she says, OK, great idea, If I did it, how would I have done it, blah, blah, blah. You know the rest. OK.
Then Fox was going to air a two-parter on the 27th and the 29th of November, ratings period, right at the end, and then the book was to come out on the 30th -- all beautiful, not so beautiful, firestorm, people are going crazy. She says, Well, I didn`t say I thought he was innocent. I wanted to do this because I was a battered woman and I thought it would be a catharsis for everybody concerned, and yada-yada-ya.
But you know what, Jane? The bottom line is Fox comes out today, and says, Well, it was, you know, ill-considered. I have to say that what it looks like to me is that they have one hand on the heart because, you know, it may be sincere that they`ve reconsidered this, but the other hand is on the calculator because they stood to make about $8 million in advertising revenues.
Think about this, Jane. You know, the book was in the top 20 on Amazon, but today, apparently, it dropped to 51. Then all these Fox stations are Saying, Forget about it, we`re not going to run it. So you have to wonder, did they not sit down, add up a few, you know, numbers and then say, Yes -- and by the way, it was ill considered. I mean, I do want to give them credit for that. So that`s the story.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And you know what, Pat? I can feel so happy tonight for Fred Goldman finally. And we are so happy to have with us tonight Fred Goldman`s attorney, Jonathan Polak. You represent the man who is the father of murder victim Ron Goldman. We are so happy and delighted to have you here tonight. Now, the Goldmans just issue this statement. It`s rather lengthy, but bottom line, they`re thrilled. This has got to be an amazing vindication and an emotional high for them, considering they haven`t had a lot of good news along this journey.
JONATHAN POLAK, ATTORNEY FOR FAMILY OF MURDER VICTIM RON GOLDMAN: Thank you, Jane. They are elated. They are just absolutely ecstatic. The American -- this is a victory for the American people today. The American people rejected this book. They said this is not the kind of society they want to live in and this is not the kind of garbage they want on their television.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, I have to ask you -- it`s possible because people do get advances for books, and there`s a lot of controversy about whether O.J. got paid or not, even though the publisher of the book, Judith Regan, insists he did not get paid, that she paid a third party and the money would go to his children, and she said she could live with that -- still, somebody may have gotten -- probably got an advance. And some of the figures being tossed around are anywhere from $2 million to $3.5 million. Are the Goldmans -- are you going to help the Goldmans pursue that money and follow the money trail?
POLAK: Absolutely, we will. And we are going to hold all people -- publishers News Corp., accountants, lawyers, O.J. Simpson -- responsible for engaging in any fraud that we can uncover. We will hold them responsible and we will make them pay.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Give us an idea how you`re going to follow this money trail because I know, in the past, it`s been very hard. When O.J. goes to a slasher convention, it`s just cash or a couple of grand and you can`t really track it. But how are you going to do it now? Because you`re dealing with some mega-corporations.
POLAK: Well, ironically now, in this apparent spirit of cooperation that we`re receiving from News Corp., maybe they`ll open their documents up and let us come and save the Goldmans literally tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees, let us look at what they`ve got and let us start the money trail there. And we`ll find them. We will find where the documents lead us. But the court system ultimately is going to be determinant of whether or not the Goldmans get their justice.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That would be wonderful, if the News Corporation actually helped you track the money and then helped satisfy the judgment. That would be almost a dream come true for you.
POLAK: Well, it certainly would save us time and effort in finding what really would be what we call the law of satellite litigation. It gets -- we want to get to the heart of the matter. We want to find out who got the money, who helped them hide it, and where did it go. I don`t want to have to battle News Corp. to find out just the preliminary answers to those questions. And I`m confident that if News Corp. really is sincere about the apology and about its acknowledgement that what it did was wrong, that they`re going to help us.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s hear what your client, Fred Goldman, had to say about this book.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FRED GOLDMAN, FATHER OF RON GOLDMAN: He is willing -- as sick a guy as he is, he is willing to put in a book and on air -- he`s willing to tell the world how he would, quote unquote, murder his children`s mother and Ron. Sick.
Appalled. I don`t know other -- there are a lost other words, but none of them we want to use on TV. It was amazing to me that this whole thing has gotten as far as it`s gotten. Nothing would surprise me that this SOB would do, but the fact that someone is willing to publish this garbage, that Fox is willing to put it on air is just morally despicable to me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And we have to give a shout-out to the most famous face on Fox News, Bill O`Reilly, who really launched a crusade to get a boycott of this program and put himself out there.
Gloria Allred, you are an activist attorney who has represented many abused women, and you also at one point in the past did represent the family of Nicole Brown Simpson. What was your reaction to this shocker late this afternoon that this entire thing, the book and the TV two-part special, has been canceled?
GLORIA ALLRED, FORMER LAWYER FOR FAMILY OF NICOLE BROWN SIMPSON: Yes, I represented the family of Nicole Brown Simpson, Jane, during the criminal case. And I might add I spoke today with Tonya (ph) Brown, the sister of Nicole Brown Simpson, one of the three sisters, and she was very excited about the fact that this has been canceled and very happy about it.
And I -- you know, I understand it`s a decision they made. In the interests of full disclosure, I would like to say that, of course, my book was also published by Regan Books and also a number of my clients have had their books published by Regan Books.
And so you know, I -- I have felt that I would not believe what Mr. Simpson would say. I`m a person who called for him to be investigated for perjury after he testified in the civil case that he had never hit, beat, kicked, slapped Nicole, and he testified to that at the same time he was sitting next to a large blown-up photograph of Nicole when she had a black eye and a cut lip and a welt on her face and had he pled no contest to spousal battering and been sentenced for it. Unfortunately, it was never - - the prosecutor -- that investigation was never opened. The prosecution never occurred.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me ask you, Gloria -- you say you worked with Regan Books, so you must know Judith Regan.
ALLRED: Yes, I do.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What would you make of her explanation, which was -- some people described it as rambling. It was several pages. And she said, I didn`t want money, what I wanted was closure. She revealed that she had been a battered woman in the past and said that she really wanted to confront the killer and get a confession. Did you buy that explanation? Because a lot of people are skeptical.
ALLRED: Well, I do know Judith Regan very well. I mean, in my book, which she published, "Fight Back and Win," I have a whole chapter how to fight high-profile killers and the whole chapter is about O.J. Simpson and I condemn him in that chapter. She published that, and she has published books that have allowed a voice for victims, and not many publishers have been willing to do that.
I think -- you know, I think she most likely did believe that she could get a confession from him, something that hasn`t been gotten so far. But obviously, this has not worked out the way she thought that it would. And you know, I`m happy for the families that -- they wanted this result. They got the result that they wanted and worked for.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Absolutely. Prosecutor Holly Hughes, this backfired on Judith Regan. She had said she wanted closure for herself and other battered women, but she didn`t say that at the outset. She said that after the firestorm of controversy. And as for wanting a confession from the person she called the killer, there was no confession. It wasn`t entitled O.J.`s confession, it was entitled "If I Did It." So is this sort of the ultimate proof that you can`t have it both ways, that words do mean something, that we can`t live in a disinformation age where we can say basically whatever we want and expect the public to go along with it?
HOLLY HUGHES, PROSECUTOR: Absolutely, Jane. And what I find incredibly interesting is she didn`t say any of this until the backlash, until all the negative publicity and America started saying, We don`t want this, and the Fox affiliates started saying, We`re not going to carry it. More interestingly is -- has she donated the money that she got from this deal to a battered women`s shelter? Has she done anything to assist in making the lives of battered women better?
All I think is, she is now trying to cover her butt. This is a woman who wanted fame and she wanted money and she got both. Unfortunately, she got the negative kind.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Psychotherapist Robi Ludwig, you are the author of a book "Till Death Do Us Part: Love, Marriage and the Mind of the Killer Spouse." Take us into O.J. Simpson`s mind tonight because this has to be who horribly humiliating for him. How low can he go? And then it`s sort of, like, Yes, you completely degraded yourself, and never mind.
ROBI LUDWIG, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: Yes. I mean, for -- I did not write about O.J. because he was not convicted in the criminal court of law. But I would put him in the control killer, narcissistic killer category. And for somebody like O.J., he`s really so enraged that his fame and status was taken away from him. So he`s been limelight-deprived for a very long, long time, and he is like a little child. He wants attention. And for narcissistic personalities, they almost don`t have a sense of self unless they have an audience.
So basically, the audience has spoken. This is a guy who everybody basically believes has gotten away with murder. And we`re saying, You know what? We`re not interested in your story. We`re not going to pay you for it. And we`re not going to support a murderer. So I think that message got through loud and clear.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let`s go to Yale Galanter, O.J. Simpson`s attorney, who is with us tonight. Yale, thank you for joining us. You were upset about this deal. You felt betrayed. You were kept in the dark. You didn`t know about it. Who is he is listening to that he would make this kind of decision? And have you got any sense of his reaction tonight to this bombshell that it`s all canceled?
YALE GALANTER, O.J. SIMPSON`S ATTORNEY: Well, first of all, you`re right. I mean, there is nobody other than Fred Goldman who is more thrilled that Fox and Murdoch canceled this project. I didn`t approve of the project. I felt the project was in very bad taste.
I did speak to O.J. right before we went on the air. He`s pretty much indifferent about it. I mean, you know, his -- all his contractual obligations with this third party that Judith Regan made mention of in her in "Post" piece had been fulfilled. The money was going to the kids. There was a trust fund that was set up for them. But what they got paid was not contingent upon the book or the interview being aired, so...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Really, indifferent? This is humiliating. I mean, let`s -- let`s just say it. How can he be completely indifferent?
GALANTER: ... he really was indifferent. I mean, he knew -- he knew, and he actually said during the interview with Judith Regan that he thought it was in bad taste. It was something that he had great trepidation about doing. It will come out later that this was a project that Regan and Harper, you know, dreamed up. They used ghost writers. They would send the manuscripts to O.J. He would look at it and review it.
The book itself was a seven-chapter book. Only one of the chapters dealt with this hypothetical fictional situation. I`ve actually looked at the manuscript. I have not seen the book. But the manuscript clearly has a disclaimer on the one chapter of the book that it`s a hypothetical and it`s completely fiction.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, we have just scratched the surface of this bombshell news tonight. We`ve got a lot more for you when we come right back.
To tonight`s "Case Alert." The family of a Tennessee preacher`s wife charged with murder blames her husband`s killing on domestic abuse. Mary Winkler is awaiting trial on murder one charges for allegedly shooting Matthew Winkler inside their church parsonage. Police say she confessed. In an emotional interview with "Good Morning America," Mary Winkler`s father says she was the victim of physical, mental and verbal abuse.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I saw terrible bruises, the heaviest of makeup covering facial bruises. So one day I confronted her. I said, Mary (INAUDIBLE) are coming off as a very abused wife, very battered. Mary (INAUDIBLE) No, Daddy, everything`s all right. Everything`s all right.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: An interview that will shock the nation.
JUDITH REGAN, REGAN BOOKS: You wrote, "I have never seen so much blood in my life."
O.J. SIMPSON: I don`t think any two people could be murdered without everybody being covered in blood.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: O.J. Simpson, "If I Did It, Here`s How It Happened."
GOLDMAN: 12 years ago, Ron and Nicole were murdered, murdered by a man whose name I still to this day refuse to use. To this day, he has never been punished for that act in any form.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, in tonight for Nancy Grace. Did O.J. Simpson make money off a book and TV deal that was so controversial, just a little while ago, it was canceled by Fox? That`s right, canceled. It won`t happen. You won`t see it. Or will you? Well, we`ll have to figure that one out in a second.
The project offered a so-called fictional confession to the infamous double murder of his ex-wife, Nicole, and her friend, Ron. Who exactly was set to make money off what you might call a deal with the devil? Book publisher Judith Regan, who conducted the TV interview, says she did not do it for the money but because she herself was a battered woman and wanted to squeeze a confession out of O.J. to get closure.
Now, we just heard from O.J.`s attorney saying the money did not go to O.J., it went to a trust fund for his kids. Gloria Allred, activist attorney, what is your thought on that, or your criticism?
ALLRED: ... is that there`s a $33.5 million judgment that was won by the estate of Nicole Brown Simpson and the estate of Ron Goldman as a result of the civil case in which the jury found that Simpson was liable for the wrongful deaths of Nicole and Ron. And I`m concerned about -- you know, he seems to have played a cat-and-mouse game over the years, where he`s attempted to avoid and evade his responsibility to pay that judgment.
If, in fact, he would get any money from this, it should be used to satisfy that judgment. And if he would pay it to the estate of Nicole Brown Simpson, the beneficiaries of that estate are his own children, Sydney and Justin. So he doesn`t have to try to play games, use a third party and then have it go to some trust fund. He should simply pay off the judgment that is owed to his own children.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yale Galanter, O.J. Simpson`s attorney, your response to that? Because that`s what the nation seems to be screaming, Pay the judgment, pay the judgment.
GALANTER: Well, first of al, it`s a $33.5 million judgment, and the amount of money that was paid to the third party and eventually went into the kids` trust fund is nowhere near that. But the bottom line is that this money is being used to secure the kids` future. And it`s real good to have people criticize like Gloria Allred, but the truth of the matter is, is that the responsibility to raise those children and their financial future is in O.J. And what has occurred here is that that future is a little brighter tonight.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know what scares me is that -- is there any possibility that O.J. could get the rights to all of this back or that third party, that mysterious third party, and peddle this again? I know people as famous as Barbara Walters have said that she read the book and signed a confidentiality agreement and said, No way, I`m having nothing to do with this. But somebody out there -- or it could air on the Internet. Is there a possibility, or is this really dead?
GALANTER: Jane, I mean, anything`s possible, but I will tell you that the rights and the book is owned by HarperCollins and Judith Regan. I mean, O.J. had no ownership rights in this book or the manuscript at all. They wrote it, they published it. O.J. did sign off on it and got to review it, but the property is theirs.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROSEY GRIER, HAS MINISTERED TO O.J. SIMPSON: It was his right, his democratic rights to do it, and no one could deny him from doing it. It`s what you feel like you want to do, you can do that. That`s why we send people off to war, to give people the right to do what they want to do. I`m really -- I feel bad about the murders. I mean, that was a terrible thing to happen. And surely, they deserved to live, but it happened. And -- but just to -- and he went to trial and he was found not guilty, so -- but he had a right to do this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, in tonight for Nancy Grace. Massive boycotts, affiliates refusing to air it and Fox`s own TV news pundits criticizing it. It all leads to the cancellation of O.J.`s TV special, a fictional confession -- if such a thing exists -- to two gruesome murders he was charged with, stabbings that remain, of course, unsolved to this day. Although found not guilty in the criminal trial, O.J. was found liable in the civil trial and owes the victims` families many, many, many millions of dollars. Why was this media event ever cooked up in the first place? Why do we always have to come up with new lows?
I want to go to criminal profiler Pat Brown, who usually tracks criminals. But track a social trend here. Why did it have to take this outrage for people to see the light and realize this was wildly inappropriate?
PAT BROWN, CRIMINAL PROFILER: Well, Jane, I think it hit the low of the lows, as has been said before. I mean, O.J. Simpson is what he is. He`s a snake in the grass, and we can`t expect any more from a snake in the grass. People ask me, Why would he do this? Why the hell wouldn`t he do this? It`s a thing for him to do. He`s going to make money. He`s going to get a lot of fun out of it. He`s going to enjoy it. That`s expected. I expect any psychopath or murderer to be willing to do the same thing.
What is a shame, though, is that our publishing industry and our television industry would go through with that. Now, Judith Regan -- Regan, I think her name is actually pronounced -- her -- she actually has published Jennifer Wilbanks`s runaway bride thing, too. What do we expect from somebody who would do that? Perhaps she`s found her own level with O.J. Simpson. And her justification is full of crap. She`s not helping any women anyplace.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Anybody who saw that trial, who saw the evidence, anyone trying to be fair and objective knows that there`s no doubt that O.J. Simpson is the person that committed these murders. And if he`s not going to confess to it, and if O.J. Simpson confessed to it and the money was going to the victims and his children, I`d buy this book.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell sitting in tonight for Nancy Grace. A tidal wave of criticism against the latest O.J. Simpson debacle leads to the TV special going off the air and the book -- well, we`ve just learned it will never hit the shelves.
The backlash was directed at O.J. Simpson and the big media players who shaped the deal, but our favorite quote of the night comes from Kato Kaelin, who was staying at O.J. Simpson`s house, of course, on the night of the murders. Tonight, Kato asks, quote, "O.J., what`s with the `if`" -- which is a reference to the title of this media venture, "If I Did It"?
I would like to go out now to defense attorney John Burris, who actually was a commentator during the O.J. Simpson case and who knows O.J. Simpson personally.
John, thank you for joining us. Give us a sense of where O.J. Simpson might be coming from in taking on this truly misguided project. Try to just take us into his mind, because nobody can really understand it.
JOHN BURRIS, FMR. PROSECUTOR, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: I don`t know that I can do that, either. You know, I`m from the Bay Area. O.J. is from the Bay Area, so I had a better sense of him when he was here and certainly during the trial.
My sense, though, I think as some of the other people have said, this is a very narcissistic-type personality. And I think O.J. just likes the attention. The lots of attention he hadn`t received for a number of years. I don`t think it`s about the money. I think it`s about an event and this willingness and desire to be in the public`s eye, even whether it`s negative or not. It`s just a controversy, a discussion point.
And I think he`s motivated more by that than the loss of attention than anything else that has taken place, sort of getting everyone fired up, talking about it, putting people on at the end of the day. And I think the lawyer probably is right.
I don`t think that he thinks that much about having lost this opportunity. He`s already gotten a lot, just by having a week`s worth of discussion. And if it went through, fine; if it didn`t, he`s already been paid somewhat. But I don`t see it as anything more than his desire to be in the public air again.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, this has touched a nerve with the public, and not positive at all, a negative outcry. Let`s go to the phone lines. Michelle from New York, your question?
CALLER: Hi, Jane. First of all, I just want to say, I love your show. And congratulations to the Goldman family. I think this is a great victory for them. And also to FOX News, because I think they really stood up and did what the American people wanted.
But my question is, do we know when this book was actually set to be put out on the market? And is there any way that people are still going to be able to obtain copies of it and then O.J. would subsequently get paid for that?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Very good questions. Pat Lalama, investigative reporter, I think everybody`s worried that this might somehow leak out. After all, the books have been printed. They`re sitting in a warehouse somewhere. All it takes is some employee to go in there.
PAT LALAMA, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST: Jane, I`ve got news for you. Actually, as the caller asked, it was due to come out on November 30th, which would have been one day after the second installment of the television series. You know, you get through the November sweeps, then you put the book out for some extra cash.
But I read and heard today that there are actually books on the way out being shipped in planes, on trains, you know, in trucks. And the question is now: What do you do with those books? You`ve got to believe that there`s going to be a black market for this somewhere, that somebody`s going to want to get their hands on it, you know, just because now for posterity, perhaps.
But, you know, I want to get back to one thing, if I could, Jane, just real quickly. You`ve got to keep in mind -- OK, go ahead. Go ahead. It`s your show, honey.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I -- because what you raise is so -- no, what you`re raising, Pat, is such an important issue that this is not gone away. What you`re saying is, if there`s books being shipped already and that train has left the station, that this controversy is not over.
And I would like to go to Jonathan Polak, Goldman family attorney, for his response, because that means it`s going to get out. The video -- he`s already done the interview, that was being promoted on the Web. So is this going to show up on the Internet? Is it going to end up on eBay? Are we going to hear all the awful details, and what`s your reaction to that? Because it seems like that could happen.
JONATHAN POLAK, ATTORNEY FOR GOLDMAN FAMILY: I sure hope not. The Goldman family has fought very hard to keep this stuff off TV, to keep it off bookshelves. And if any other media outlet decides that they want to go ahead and do the same mistake that FOX and News Corp. made, then they`re going to have us to tangle with again.
I hope that News Corp. does the right thing, pulls those things back, no matter how much it costs them. But what I`m really worried about is that we`re going to see this on some pay-per-view media later on. News Corp. gives it away, sells it away, does whatever they do with it, gives it to some sleazy cable outlet, and all of a sudden we`re seeing it all over again. And those people will not have the same political will necessarily as News Corp.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Prosecutor Holly Hughes, there`s also the possibility that somebody could just leak it. I mean, that`s what happens today in this Internet world is that somebody gets a hold of it and then, all of a sudden, it`s all splashed over the Internet, whether it`s the video, or the book, or both, and everybody gets to see it anyway.
HOLLY HUGHES, PROSECUTOR: That`s exactly right, Jane. And we saw that with the transcripts coming out of some of these high-profile trials. Absolutely anything is possible, like one of your earlier guests said. And if somebody gets a hold of it and wants to put it out there, you`re not going to be able to stop them.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And what is the repercussion of that? What`s the down side? I mean, what does it mean for all of us, and especially for the families of the victims?
HUGHES: Well, Jane, this entire thing is beyond the pale. It is just distasteful and disgusting. And, like Pat Brown said, you know, she was talking about Judith Regan`s explanation, if you will, and she said it`s a load of crap. The whole thing is a load of crap.
Unfortunately, depending on who gets a hold of it and how they get a hold of it, they have the right to publish it. If they have purchased it, or bought it, or come by it legally, that`s freedom of expression. It`s free speech. And they can put it out there if they want to.
Like Mr. Polak was just saying, Jane, some people don`t care. They have no taste and no respect and they`re going to put it out there if they think they can make a buck off of it.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, America is outraged. Again, the phone lines lighting up. Kimberly from Connecticut, your question?
CALLER: Hi, Jane, first of all, I`d like to say I watch your show every night. I think you guys are absolutely fantastic.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`ll pass that onto Nancy.
CALLER: My whole thing is, I think it`s censorship by stopping the book and stopping the interview. It`s censorship. You`re not letting the people that want to see it, want to read it the option to do that. You`re just stopping it all.
I mean, nobody stopped Kennedy`s books, or Dahmer`s books, or Manson`s books. Why stop O.J.`s? Who made money off of Aldrich`s book, and Darden`s, and Clark`s, and Kato Kaelin`s?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I think you raise certainly a valid point. That is a good point to debate. And we`ve got the people here to debate it tonight.
Andy Kahan, director of the crime victims office for the mayor of Houston, you just heard it. A caller said, "Let us decide. Don`t censor it. Put it out there and let the people hear it."
ANDY KAHAN, DIRECTOR, VICTIMS CRIME OFFICE FOR HOUSTON MAYOR: That`s a pretty strange hypothetical, but it brings up a good point. I think what the Simpson case needs to revisit is, again, our Son of Sam laws, which, of course, deal with convicted felons.
And I think maybe we need to revise and redraft and now include those who are found civilly liable for the cold-blooded, diabolical killings, which is what Simpson did of two human beings. Bottom line is, again, the great word of tonight`s show is he`s a narcissistic psychopathical egomaniac who`s already got the attention that he seeks.
But I`ll tell you, what FOX and Regan Media should do, if they really want to do a great mea culpa, is they should donate the money that they`ve already given to Simpson and his family to victims` organizations that support homicide survivors. And the two hours that they were going to show this insane interview with him, they should be shown domestic violence, a tribute to domestic violence survivors and homicide survivors. That`s what they should do.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, that`s an excellent idea. In other words, put on an instant special in place of the two-hour special.
Robi Ludwig is psychotherapist nodding her head here. She thinks that`s a great idea, if they could put it together that quickly, which I know they have the resources to do.
DR. ROBI LUDWIG, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: Absolutely. I mean, that would be a way of saying, "You know what? I`m sorry. I made a mistake." And people are allowed to make mistakes.
I think the people that might be interested in reading this book would think that they were getting insight into why O.J., in fact, did kill his beautiful wife, and, you know, can get away with it, and want to get away with it, especially when he`s raising their children.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And let`s go to Dr. Jonathan Arden, medical examiner, who`s been very patient. The reason why people are so upset about this is because it was such a gruesome crime and there seemed to be so much evidence that was overwhelming pointing toward O.J. Simpson. Tell us about some of that evidence.
JONATHAN ARDEN, MEDICAL EXAMINER, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST: Oh, I agree with you. I think the evidence was overwhelming, and the single biggest piece of the evidence -- besides all the other things about the circumstances and the timing and the Bronco and all those things -- was the blood and, in other words, the DNA.
This is where the heavy evidence was that linked him to the crime scene. It linked him to the two victims. It linked him with the objects used there. This was a lock, in my opinion, from a forensic science standpoint that proved the case beyond a reasonable doubt.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The scenario he describes is one where he goes over to Nicole`s house only to scare her, he writes. Once he gets there, he says Ron Goldman comes to the gate, and O.J. is standing there with his accomplice, and the accomplice is holding the knife. O.J. writes that he got angry at Goldman and thought Goldman was having an affair with Nicole and basically then talks about how the rest is a blur.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And while O.J. is saying that`s how it might have happened if he`d committed the murders, for many, including Nicole Brown Simpson in this "New York Daily News" cartoon, there is no "if."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell in for Nancy Grace. The backlash against the O.J. Simpson "If I Did It" TV and book deal was growing by the hour. Some bookstores said they were not going to carry the book. A number of FOX affiliates said they weren`t going to air it, a two- part TV special where O.J. is interviewed by Judith Regan and offers a so- called "fictional confession" to the brutal murders of Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson, a crime which we all know remains unsolved to this day, more than 12 years later.
Some even threatened to go as far as boycotting advertisers who aired commercials on the TV special. So we`re all asking: At what point did it become untenable for FOX, which just canceled it?
And I want to go to Gloria Allred to ask her the other question that has arisen in this conversation. Namely, Pat Lalama is saying this is already shipped out. Some of these books are out there. And it`s probably going to, in some way, shape, or form -- there`s a good chance it could get leaked to the Internet, either the print version or the video version.
GLORIA ALLRED, ATTORNEY: Well, Jane, that is very possible. But if so, I mean, you know, whoever leaks that if that person, if it could be discovered who that person was, that put the entire book or a substantial portion thereof on the Internet, that person could be sued for copyright infringement, because it is very important for everyone to understand that the person who owns the copyright, you know, is the person who owns it, and other people cannot just go and put an author`s work on the Internet, because that would simply violate the law, and that person could be sued, if that person did it.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, except that that person has a wink-wink arrangement with whoever, you know? These things happen all the time.
John Burris, we`re living -- defense attorney -- we`re living in an age where basically nothing can be kept secret, nothing can be kept away from the public. It always seems to leak out. I mean, look at TMZ.com, which does such an amazing job of getting all those stories out there, day in, day out, on the Internet. Nobody can hide any more.
BURRIS: Well, I think that`s true, and I think that`s a good thing, as well. I think that we ought to be able to have access to as much information that`s out there. People can pick and choose as the information they would like to hear or not or read about.
So, you know, even though I would not have recommended to O.J. that he writes this book -- I would not have done that. I think he should not have done it. But to the extent that people want to read it, they have a right to read it. I don`t see why we should have a censorship.
There`s a lot of bad stories that happen in this world, a lot of bad events happened to a lot of families, not only the Goldman family, but people write about them. People have written about this thing. They made a lot of money on it, various lawyers, various other people. And so I don`t see where it ought to be a censorship on the whole notion of the book being publicized or written.
People can do what they wan. They don`t have to buy the book; they don`t have to see it. But I think it`s a bad precedent to say that we`re going to stop this because it`s a bad story and we don`t like the story.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Jonathan Polak, Goldman family attorney, I`m sure has another take on that. You`re hearing sort of this rumbling now of free speech and people saying, "Hey, we should have the right to decide." What do you make of that?
POLAK: That`s bunk. Frankly, that`s just bunk. There is a big difference between the people who are reporting on the story writing their own books about their accounts and the guy who actually committed the murders, telling his story, getting paid for it, being glorified by it, and engaging in those types of activities. Those guys are miles apart, galaxies apart. There`s no comparison between those people.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, John Burris, defend yourself. You`re a defense attorney.
BURRIS: ... defend myself. My point is, I don`t agree with his position. I think it`s ridiculous to tell somebody you can`t do something because I don`t like what you`re going to write about. It doesn`t make any sense to me.
There are a lot of bad stories that are written all the time. We don`t censor those stories. This is an open society. People can decide what they want. There`s a lot of stuff out here that people don`t like and there are things they do like. We all have a different view about what we like or don`t like.
And I don`t think it`s fair to us to then say, "I don`t like this particular story, so, therefore, we`re got to censor it and we`re not going to have it publicized or read." Let the people decide.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, obviously, the families of the victims don`t agree with that position. They`re very upset. They feel that this has turned a horrible tragedy into a farce.
Gloria Allred, you at one point represented the family of Nicole Brown Simpson. You`re hearing this debate. Do you think it`s free speech versus censorship, or is it decency versus a travesty that turns a horrible crime into a farce?
ALLRED: Well, I don`t think this is censorship. This is not what censorship means. It is a decision not to publish. There is no duty for a publisher to publish in the first place. So if they have no duty to publish, then they have a right not to publish. This is not about government censorship. Government has nothing to do with this issue.
Having said that, I`m glad, you know, that they put a stop to it because it has inflicted pain on the families. And what about the children? What about Sydney and Justin, were they to read? I mean, what a thing for children to read about, "Oh, if I had killed your mother, this is how I would have done it." That is disgusting, and that is tasteless.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We, the jury in the above entitled action, find the defendant Orenthal James Simpson not guilty of the crime of murder in violation of penal code section 187(a), a felony upon Nicole Brown Simpson, a human being, as charged in count one of the information.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell in tonight for Nancy Grace. Intense outrage over the O.J. Simpson how-to on committing murder forces News Corp., the parent company of FOX, to cancel O.J.`s TV special and book. Tonight, a message sent loud and clear that we as a society will not tolerate glamorizing murder.
And guess what? DontPayOJ.com is now up to -- Pat Brown, criminal profiler -- more than 51,000 signatures on the Internet. I sense a watershed moment in American society in terms of how we`re dealing with violence against women.
LALAMA: Absolutely. It`s wonderful, Jane, to see people speak out like this. I mean, most people do believe O.J. committed the crime. And what`s interesting is that, even if you read that book, O.J.`s a pathological liar. He`s not even going to tell you the truth then, even if it`s an "if" story.
So what he says then, that somebody else helped him, is a bunch of bunk, also, because it was a crime that was committed by one person. So what`s the point of even reading a pack of lies? And I think the American public has spoken and spoken clearly, and I really commend them. It`s fantastic.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And, Robi Ludwig, we have to end, I think, with the children, O.J. Simpson`s children by Nicole. I mean, what is this like for them? What are they going through, do you think?
LUDWIG: Well, I`m sure that they realize they have a father who`s self-centered. And it`s extraordinarily unempathic (ph) and victimizing to even engage in something like this. But I`m sure they know that their father is disturbed and sick on some level.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And, you know, part of the mark of being an adult is being able to see your parents objectively. We idealize our parents when we`re children. And when we grow up, we all get to see them and say, "Hmm, they`re flawed." So this might be a growth process for them. We pray that it is.
LUDWIG: I hope so.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And we`re on their side.
Tonight, we remember Marine Corporal Aaron Seal, just 23, from Elkhart, Indiana. On his first tour of duty, Seal, a Marine reservist, built roads and cleared mines in Iraq. He leaves behind a grieving family, including an older sister and fiancee Crystal (ph). Aaron Seal, an American hero.
We`d like to thank all of our guests for their insights, and thanks to you at home for tracking these very important cases with us. See you tomorrow night, 8:00 sharp Eastern. Until then, have a wonderful and a safe evening.